Pope Francis Offers Aid to Parents Fighting to Prevent Hospital from Removing Toddler's Life Support

Posted: Apr 20, 2018 7:30 AM
Pope Francis Offers Aid to Parents Fighting to Prevent Hospital from Removing Toddler's Life Support

Tom Evans, the father of severely ill toddler Alfie Evans, is still hoping to have his son transferred to the Bambino Gesú hospital in Rome, following his meeting with Pope Francis this week. Evans and Alfie’s mom, Kate James, are desperately fighting the Alder Hey hospital in Liverpool who would like to remove Alfie from life support. Alfie suffers from an undiagnosed degenerative neurological condition and the hospital believes that it would be "unkind" and "futile" to continue treatment. UK courts so far have sided with the hospital.

After losing their latest appeal, Alfie’s parents are making a further appeal to the Supreme Court and appeal court judges said Alfie would continue to receive treatment pending the Supreme Court decision.

The parents are fighting for the right to move their son to the hospital in Rome where he will have more time as doctors search for a diagnosis.

“The Pope stated that he wants Alfie in his country and that’s what the president of Bambino Gesu has said today,” Alfie’s father said Thursday. “She is willing I come over and testify in court, her and the team.”

Alfie’s father had a private meeting with Pope Francis Wednesday.

“I’ve got a letter handed to me on behalf of the Pope and the hospital president showing how much they want to take Alfie on,” he added. “I’m going to go to the hospital [Alder Hey] to show them what the hospital [in Italy] can provide for him.”

“If they don’t listen to the Pope it’s going to be a diplomatic problem,” he emphasized.

“I will do whatever it takes to get Alfie out,” Alfie’s father concluded. “The Pope actually stated that I was right and to let God decide. Not Alder Hey, not the doctors here not any parents either.”

Pope Francis tweeted his support of Alfie Evans and his parents earlier this month. Sunday, he included Alfie in his public prayers.

The legal struggle over Alfie’s treatment is occurring less than a year after the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London took baby Charlie Gard off of life support after a similar struggle with his parents who wanted him to try an experimental treatment for his rare genetic condition.

Charlie Gard’s case drew an international public outcry against the hospital’s decision that included Pope Francis, President Trump, and Cher. President Trump and Pope Francis both extended offers of support to the family and two Congressman even introduced legislation to try to help bring baby Charlie to the U.S. for treatment.